Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dancing Memories

We only have one week of dance classes left before recital. By 'we' I mean all three girly girls in the family. Yep, I'll be on stage too, alongside my girls. As I thought back on my childhood dancing days, I wondered what had become of the old barn where I took classes in the late 70's and early-mid 80's. It really was an old barn on a dairy farm in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. We parked in the gravel lot, saw the cows over the fence and went inside to the classrooms for lessons. There was a hall with a small stage, that's where we had our recitals until I was in about 4th grade. Best I can remember that is when we moved to the local middle school auditorium for recitals. I googled for the George C. Coomber School of Music and Dance and it does still exist but, alas, they don't have a website. I did find some pictures though... on a couple's wedding website. Turns out they spiffed up the old barn and you can rent it out for your event!

The front door where I went in to class. It was far more rundown back then.

The recital hall. I don't remember any chandeliers, but it otherwise looks the same.

Pre-Civil War barn

Very different from the studio in the stip-mall we go to now!


Born in My Heart Auction starts tomorrow

This text is from an email from Love Without Boundaries. I have donated a basket of bows to the auction. Please be sure to check out all the items over the next several days and encourage everybody you know to do the same. All proceedes will save lives by providing critically needed heart surgeries.

Born In My Heart Art Auction
April 23rd through April 28th!

In nearly every orphanage in China, children in need of heart surgery wait to be healed. In an effort to help as many of these orphaned children as possible, Love Without Boundaries began the "Born In My Heart" art auction six years ago. This is an annual event that serves as our special tribute to the miracle of adoption, and also as a fundraiser to help us provide these essential operations to children who need emergency heart surgery.

Beginning Thursday, April 23 through Tuesday, April 28, you will have the opportunity to bid on some amazing items and forever change the lives of children with heart defects. As always, 100% of the proceeds go to fund heart surgeries.

Auction items will begin to launch at 9am (Pacific) on Thursday, April 23th. Over 300 items will be added throughout the day, and the auction will close Tuesday, April 28th (again, with items closing throughout the course of the day). We have some absolutely incredible items this year, all donated by LWB's fabulous supporters! Here are some items you won't want to miss: art from Caroline Young, Judith Stein, Darsan' Nitti, and some truly gifted "amateur" artists. Glorious quilts in many sizes and themes. Books by Grace Lin, Lisa See, Sherry Eldridge, Carol Peacock and more. Stunning lifebook layouts in both hardcopy and digital formats that will inspire anyone to get busy on that lifebook! Language series designed for age groups from elementary to high school. Chinese Cookbooks, a Sushi Basket and another Mother/Daughter apron set so popular last year. Darling "cottage boutique" clothes for little girls. Diaper Dude diaper bags for "cool" dads! Beautifully designed custom announcements. Care Packages from Blessed Kids. A gorgeous Asian design crib bedding set. A "must see" selection of dolls including "Going Home" Barbies and Corolle baby dolls. Tooth Fairy pillows, hand knit "Panda" sweaters, toys, home d├ęcor, 2008 Olympics items, embroidery, charm, jewelry, and so much more!

You will be able to access our auction from the Love Without Boundaries website homepage at:, or by visiting our eBay store where the items will be auctioned beginning April 23th (auction items are not available for preview).

You can also play a part in healing hearts by posting about the auction! If you have a personal blog, family website, Facebook or Twitter page, we would be so grateful if you would mention this event, as so many children are counting on us for surgery. Help spread the news that lives can be saved!

Thank you in advance for helping to make this year's auction our best ever!

Love Without Boundaries
Art Auction Committee


Thursday, April 16, 2009

A wonderful night of worship

This took place almost 2 weeks ago, but my computer has been acting up and I haven't had access to pictures as easy as I'd like, coupled with Spring break (read: kids home).

We left the Girly Girls with a dear friend who offered to keep them for their first non-Nana sleepover while we had some adult time driving two hours each way to go to the Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith United tour concert. It was amazing!! We had great seats and it was awesome to be surrounded by so many people singing along, praising our God. I brought my camera after seeing many pictures on line that other concert goers had taken and took a few before the usher told me that my kind of camera(??) wasn't allowed. We didn't get home until almost 1 AM, and were exhausted. But it was a great evening, and the girls had a blast at their first slumber party.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Change is good

Ripping out embroidery is a big pain. But I am joyfully doing so this morning with a huge smile on my face despite having worked on undoing the threads for at least 30 minutes and still having a long way to go. Why the change and why the joy??? I have to change a name.

Olivia is now Victoria. She has been matched with a family.



Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm feeling Giddy!

Yep. Giddy is just about the right word. I'm in my zone. You know, the one where you are doing something you love to do and even better-it has a purpose. One that will bring happiness and joy to somebody else.

So what am I up to? Well, first of all what makes me so happy is creating. I'm an artsy type. Ever since I was a child I could spend hours coloring, painting, sculpting, creating from scraps of nothing. I just love using my imagination and my hands. I spent years doing 'serious' art. I studied art. I was six credits shy of a second masters degree in pottery and painting that didn't get completed thanks to five long months of bedrest with a high risk pregnancy. That's well on the back burner of life now and I haven't touched my potters wheel in several years. Now my creating has become more crafting. Materials that are easy to have around children (turpentine and kids should not mix!) are my resources now. I have many thousands of yards of ribbon thanks to the bow business, a fully stocked cabinet of paper, stickers, glue, markers, crayons and assorted do-dads is always at the ready. Recently I've added a stash of fabric and have taught myself how to sew (basic stuff for now, but the ambition is big!). It makes me happy seeing all the bright colors of all my art stuff and I just love having busy hands. My girls do too! But back to the giddiness at hand (literally!).

This post on the New Day Foster Home blog last week really got to me. I felt in my core that I neede to do something. I had to act, but I felt so small. What could I do in this situation? After a few days of prayer and reflection it dawned on me that I could send more bows to the older girls. I new that they had enjoyed the first delivery in January. Something to help make them all feel pretty and special. I emailed Carrie and requested favorite colors so I could tailor the gifts to each girl. Info received and the mission has begun! I decided to create girly tote bag purses for each of them. I couldn't send bows without pretty packaging! That's my giddy fun! I'm embroidering them with their names and sewing ribbons on the bags. I'll stuff them with bows and a few other assorted girly items and off to China they'll go. I know the gifts will be warmly received. But I also know that it is a blessing to be a blessing and my girls and I will be richly rewarded with a joy of having done something for someone else. That alone, even minus the craft supplies, is reason to be giddy!!!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's 8 o'clock, and where are my kids?

It warmed up to 54 degrees today, and so, after dinner when the girls asked to go outside and swing I ushered them outside for some fresh air. It wasn't long before four other girls where in our backyard. I opened the windows so I could hear them play. I had to clean up after dinner and ready backpacks for tomorrow. I listened to their squeals as they played some imagination game about knights, dragons and princesses, always hearing the cacophony of girly giggles as I fluttered about the downstairs doing my chores. Then it got quiet(er). They had all moved to the front yard. I checked on them every few minutes and remembered my childhood days of running all over the neighborhood, trudging through many a neighbor's yard playing cops and robbers with the neighboorhood crew. We'd be gone for hours. Now here I was feeling like I couldn't let my kids be out of my earshot for a more than a few minutes. I wish I could just turn them loose and tell them to be home when it got dark. Those days are gone. Then I heard giggles, endless giggles. It had started to rain. A soft gentle rain that was extremely fun to play in. So it was getting dark, three of the older girls were called in, but I let my two continue to play with the next door neighbor. I ran upstairs and drew a bath after giving them a three minute warning. It was after 8, on a school night, and I had two soaking wet girlies still playing outside. I came downstairs three minutes later, as promised. They said goodbye to their friend and came inside, straight to the mudroom to strip.

"Thanks Mom for letting us play in the rain."

"yeah, and in the dark!"

"That was so cool! Can we do that again?"

Sure. It's only the beginning of spring (finally!)